Economic report on rally welcomed
The No Rally group has welcomed the commitment from State and Regional Development Minister Ian MacDonald that the review into the Repco Rally will now include an economic analysis, but are wary about how it will be conducted.
“We welcome Greens MLC Ian Cohen’s pressure on the Minister to ensure the rally review is meaningful. But the Minister’s response is only a small step out of whitewash territory. The reviewing parties, Integrated Marketing Communications and Homebush Motor Racing Authority, have said they have neither the expertise nor the budget to conduct a proper economic analysis,” No Rally spokesperson Andrea Vickers said.
“We call on the Minister to commission a proper cost-benefit analysis that considers the triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social impacts, and is conducted by a qualified independent party... An economic review and a valid cost-benefit analysis are essential because the claim of economic benefit was used to justify a shocking list of wrongs. The suspension of 12 laws, the millions of dollars in public cost, the misuse of our natural heritage, and the disruption to social cohesion must all be weighed properly against the paltry financial returns to the region.”
The group claims statistics from Tweed Tourism and the Australian Bureau of Statistics show visitor nights for September 2009 were up by 867 and takings were up by less than $1 million, compared to September 2008.
“The reality is in stark contrast to the pre-rally socioeconomic report, which estimated that the rally would generate $13 million from tourist accommodation and an extra 69,000 visitor nights for Tweed and Kyogle,” Ms Vickers said.